No formal investigation yet on ‘pork’-linked Abad, Alcala, says De Lima
MANILA, Philippines – Two months after Janet Lim-Napoles submitted her affidavit to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said they are still examining the evidence against Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
“Vetting, not being swept under the rug,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima explained to reporters on Thursday evening, during the 123rd anniversary of the Philippine Bar Association.
“As to whether or not we’re formally investigating them that would be premature in the sense dinedetermine muna namin anong category sila (we’re still determining their category),” she clarified.
De Lima said that if they find enough evidence on their involvement in the pork barrel scam, they will then forward the complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman. However, if they don’t find enough proof they will continue to validate the information.
The last category includes people linked to the scam but without basis. “Most likely fabricated,” she said.
The Justice Secretary said she has no problem investigating her colleagues in the Cabinet.
“No I don’t have a problem with that. I try to fulfill the mandate of our department,” she said.
Abad and Alcala, who previously worked as congressmen before their stints in the Aquino cabinet, were included in Napoles’ list of lawmakers who benefited from the scam, which involved the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Napoles, in her affidavit, claimed she once gave P2 million to Abad whom she considers her “mentor.” She alleged that it was Abad who taught her about special allotment release order (SARO), a document authorizing the release of government funds.
At the time of the scam, both Abad and Alcala were still congressmen.
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